It is South Carolina, and the spirit of 1776 fills the air throughout the thirteen American colonies. Rebellion is brewing, taxation from the British crown is taking a toll on the American colonists, and a conflict with England is inevitable. Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson), a veteran of the French and Indian War, has renounced fighting forever to raise his family in peace. However, as his sons Gabriel (Heath Ledger) and Thomas (Gregory Smith) become young men, they get swept up in the American Revolutionary War movement to oust the Redcoats by force. But the brutal British Colonel William Tavington (Jason Isaacs) captures Gabriel and sentences him to hang. As Gabriel is being taken away, Thomas is shot by Tavington as he tries to free him, leaving Benjamin no choice but take up arms in the militia and the fight to give the young American nation its freedom.